Hyderabadi Khatti Dal
95 Min

Hyderabadi Khatti Dal

Khatti simply means sour, in this case with the addition of tamarind or lemon. Khatti dal is a preparation from the Hyderabad region of India and is usually made with toor or masoor lentils. It can be soupy to be eaten with rice, just as a soup or thick and stew like, to be eaten alongside kebabs or roti.
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Cook Time

1 hour and 35 minutes + soak time



Step 1
Rinse the toor dal in water 2 to 3 times, then soak for a couple of hours. Drain.
Step 2
In a large stockpot over high heat, combine the drained lentils with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Skim off and discard any foam or residue that may rise on top.
Step 3
Add the turmeric, black pepper, salt, ginger, and fenugreek leaves, lower the stockpot, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or an hour or until the lentils are completely mushy and cooked through.
Step 4
Add the tamarind and more water to the dal if it has thickened too much.
Step 5
To do the pop, in a small frying pan, warm the ghee and pop the cumin and mustard seeds. Immediately, add the kari leaves, whol dried chiles, garlic and onions. Cook on high for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions start to sweat and turn slightly golden.
Step 6
Add the tomatoes and garam masala, cook for another minute then add this whole mixture to the dal. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for a minute or two. Stir in the herbs and serve.

1 cup toor lentils

1 teaspoon dried turmeric powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons ginger puree

2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves

1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate*


1/4 cup ghee or olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

10 to 15 kari leaves

10 to 12 dried whole red chiles

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 cup minced onions

2 cups fresh tomatoes, cherry or large chopped or 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 cup chopped fresh herbs

Notes & Variations

  • If you want a soupier dal, add more water when adding the tamarind and either whisk it or use a stick blender to puree the whole dal. Then proceed to the next step.
  • If you want to cook tamarind from a dry block, use a 2-to-3-inch piece and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes then let it rest. Mash up the tamarind and strain. If you want to use lemon juice instead of tamarind, add the juice of 2 lemons just at the end of the preparation, after doing the pop.
95 Min

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